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The Hale ‘Aina Awards Celebration

Join us for Cirque du Cuisine! Dine on circus-inspired dishes from 13 award-winning restaurants under the stars in Waikīkī at the 2016 Hale ‘Aina Awards Celebration! Indulge your taste buds while sipping on signature cocktails and enjoying live entertainment in a festive setting with friends and family. This year’s event is the biggest and best yet, so you do not want to miss it!

Use your First Hawaiian Bank MasterCard® credit card at checkout and receive a $25 discount off each GENERAL ADMISSION ticket.

Sunday, September 27, 2015
The Royal Hawaiian, A Luxury Collection Resort
7-9:30 p.m., Coconut Grove


This year’s restaurant lineup includes:

  • Arancino 

Uni'cyclist Pasta by CHEF DAISUKE HAMAMOTO - Uni, Fresh House Made Tagliolini, White Wine Garlic Tomato Cream Sauce.


  • Azure 



  • Kai Market

Fire Eater by Chef Darren Demaya - Braised Pork Belly, Kabocha Puree, Toasted Coconut Demi, Pickled Jalapenos.


  • Halekūlani

Clowning Around by Chef Vikram Garg - Shrimp Fricasse, Lemon Verbena Essence.

  • Kalapawai Café

Cannonball Gumbo by Chef Jason Iwane - Duck and Andouille Sausage Gumbo, Creole Spices, Gumbo File, Steamed Jasmine Rice, Pickled Okra.


  • Le Bistro

Trapeze Dip by Chef Alan Takasaki - Half-Melted Burrata Cheese with Black Orzo.


  • Mac 24/7

Big Top Cotton Candy by Chef James Aptakin -  Kualoa Ranch Prawns, popcorn shrimp butter, pop rocks, shrimp powder, Kona coffee salt, bubu arare In a field of wheat grass.


  • MW Restaurant

Lion Tamer by Chef Wade Ueoka and Michelle Karr-Ueoka - Truffled Mashed Potatoes, Red Wine Braised Short ribs, Hāmākua Mushrooms. 


  • Nico’s at Pier 38

Confetti Brochette by Chef Kaleo Chong.


  • Pint + Jigger

Balancing Act by Chef Devin Beppu - Caraway Pork Sausage, Gruyere, Braised Red Cabbage, Russian Dressing.


  • Roy’s Waikīkī

Tightrope Teaser by Chef Jason Ichiki - Kampachi, Ume Caviar, Fresh Wasabi, Kahuku Sea Asparagus, Citrus Soy.


  • Ruth’s Chris Steak House

Center Stage by Chef Eser Domingo - Seared Tenderloin, Sauce au PoivRe, Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes, Baby Arugula, Balsamic Vinaigrette.


  • Tiki’s Grill and Bar

Ringmaster's Delight by Chef Ronnie Nasuti - Yukke, Quail Egg Yolk, Korean Pear, Pignoli.


While you dine under the stars, enjoy signature cocktails and beverages from:

  • Kai Spirits

  • Ocean Vodka

  • Hawaiian Springs

  • Johnson Brothers of Hawai‘i Inc.

  • Young’s Market Company

  • The Cherry Co. LTD

  • Constellation Brands

  • Southern Wine & Spirits


Live performances at the Hawaiian 105 KINE center stage will feature local artists.


Click here to buy tickets to the event in September 



About the event

In 1984, HONOLULU Magazine established its Hale ‘Aina Awards as the Islands’ first local restaurant awards. Before then, culinary awards in the Islands had been given by Mainland travel interests. The Hale ‘Aina Awards were the first to recognize local tastes. 

Over the past 30 years, the Hale ‘Aina Awards have been much imitated, but they still stand out, as the most prized dining awards in the Islands.

All HONOLULU readers are eligible to vote. Voting took place in June. A hard copy ballot also appears in the June issue each year. After the ballots are tallied, the magazine designates its readers’ favorite restaurants as Hale ‘Aina Award winners for that year.

Hale ‘Aina means “eating place.” It is the closest Hawaiian equivalent to the word restaurant. But Hale ‘Aina has come to mean the most prestigious dining awards in the Islands. They act as a guide to readers about where to eat, they bolster a restaurant’s reputation and they have been publicized all over the Mainland and Japan.

The Hale ‘Aina Awards also feature a fun and delicious signature event for HONOLULU Magazine. What had started as a potluck celebration in a conference room at the office has grown into a gala celebration. The awards are announced for the first time at this event, in September this year.


The Hale ‘Aina Awards ballot nominations

In each Hale ‘Aina Award category, there are six available slots for nominations. Three are automatically filled with the gold-, silver- and bronze-award-winning restaurants from the previous Hale ‘Aina Awards, in recognition of their demonstrated high quality. Two restaurants were nominated by HONOLULU Magazine’s food and dining editor, Martha Cheng, based on her own research and impressions of Hawai‘i’s dining scene. And lastly, one nomination slot is reserved as a write-in, to allow readers to suggest their own favorite restaurant in each category, if it hasn’t already been nominated.


The Passion fruit creamsicle dessert from STAGE.


Past Hale ‘Aina Award Winners

2015 Hale ‘Aina Award Winners (Best Restaurants in Hawai‘i)

2014 Hale ‘Aina Award Winners (Best Restaurants in Hawai‘i)

2013 Hale ‘Aina Award Winners (Best Restaurants in Hawai‘i)



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